Helping behind the scenes in Louisiana


By Amy McCray

Edited by Nancy Waddell

This past summer the nation watched anxiously as a catastrophic flood devastated southern Louisiana. More than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours, producing 7.1 trillion gallons of water, three times as much as Hurricane Katrina. Over 30,000 residents were displaced and over 11,000 sought refuge in emergency shelters. Continue reading

 On the Road: The Piccolas Take the Red Cross Mission With Them 


By Diane Toomey

Edited by Rachel Ramey

Everyone has a routine. Whether it’s a daily commute to work, or a morning cup of coffee, these small repetitive tasks bring ritual, comfort and calm to the start of a day.  For those who have lived through a disaster, it’s often hard to re-establish these rituals in the aftermath of destruction.

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Answering the Call 


By Cassylee Mead

Edited by Nancy Waddell

When an ordinary day turns into disaster, who does the Red Cross call on? Volunteers. Volunteers like Bob Dolhanyk. Bob started as a volunteer 10 days before the Washington Landslide Event, then answered the call to respond to one of Washington’s largest natural disasters. Because of his prior work experience, Bob stepped up to the role of Assistant Director of Planning for the Red Cross response. Later, he took on the position of Long-term Recovery Manager for the landslide Continue reading

What should you do when you need to evacuate?


Key information from the Red Cross


  • Shelters are open to all residents who have had to leave their homes due to evacuations orders or who have been impacted by wildfire activity.
  • Shelter sites are open day and night and are a safe place to stay.
  • Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing meals, water, emergency relief supplies, shower facilities, health and emotional support and recovery assistance.
  • Overnight stays at a Red Cross shelter are not required in order to seek assistance or use shelter facilities, such as showers.
  • Power is available for those who need to charge phones and laptops.
  • Shelters are open to all local residents, regardless of citizenship status

The Red Cross encourages anyone coming to a Red Cross emergency shelter to bring personal items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. It’s also important to bring special items for children, such as diapers, formula.

American Red Cross evacuation shelters are open to all local residents:

  • All area residents are welcome to stop by the shelter for meals, water, and available information about the current fire situation, regardless of citizenship status.
  • Residents are not required to stay the night.
  • Health assistance and emotional support are available.
  • Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters except for service animals.
  • Shelters will remain open until Emergency Management and the Red Cross determine there is no further identified need for sheltering.

To find up-to-date shelter information

Go to, under the Get Help tab. The map provides shelter locations, that are updated every 15 minutes.

You can find the information on this link.

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Microsoft hardware gift helps Red Cross deliver hope


by Colin Downey

When major disasters strike, the need to quickly move people and supplies – including technology – is critical.  In the first days following the recent Louisiana floods, more than 1,000 Red Cross responders were on the ground helping out. Simultaneously, the Red Cross was ramping up large relief operations in California due to wildfires. Having access to the right technology hardware is a must in these situations, and partners like Microsoft help us deliver the mission when help is needed most. Last week, Microsoft generously donated 104 laptops to be used on Red Cross disaster relief operations like the California wildfires.
“This gift will impact our ability to quickly scale our technology needs in times of disaster and we are grateful for Microsoft’s support,” said Ronnie Strickland, Chief Information Officer of the American Red Cross. “Because of Microsoft, we will deploy needed equipment quickly to the scene of a large scale disaster allowing us to assist families in need.”
To learn more about Red Cross relief efforts in Louisiana and across the country, visit

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.